I Met Leigh Bardugo!!!

Yes, this is a little late in coming. But I wanted to share it with you guys, anyway, because it’s still pretty cool. (Warning: bad-quality photos galore.)

My weekend began with extreme sleepiness. Academic-wise, it’d been long and arduous, and I decided to cash in my “sleep” card Saturday morning and stay in bed for an extra two hours.

The only problem? Doing so made it very hard to get out of bed. 😂

So, in order to wake myself up and hopefully managed to do something productive, I tried scrolling through my social media timelines on my phone. And there, I found out that, in less than 12 hours, Leigh Bardugo would be signing books in San Diego at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.

The Six of Crows duology was one of my favorite reads of 2016, and I had asked my parents for a copy of the duology for Christmas. This would be my opportunity not only to buy the books, but to get them signed. I begged them to let me go, and my mother, being the saint she is, rearranged her entire schedule so we could go together.

Due to a previous engagement, we got there an hour after the event (something called a “holiday party,” featuring multiple authors and books) started, but, by some miracle, we arrived just in time to hear several YA authors (Leigh and Gretchen McNeil among them) give a short presentation on each of the books featured. Then, suddenly, I had purchased both books, and I was in line to meet Leigh Bardugo, one of my favorite authors.

I could barely think straight, I was so nervous.

My mother ran toward where the line was forming right away, so I was near the start of the line, which meant I didn’t have to wait very long.

It all happened so quickly. One second, I was telling my mom to make sure to take some pictures, and the next, Leigh was beaming at me and saying, “Hello! How are you?”

“A little starstruck right now.” I giggled nervously.

Her eyebrows rose. “Oh,” she said.

When she asked me my name and I told her it was Anastasia, she grinned. “You fit right into this world!” she told me. (Which is about the greatest compliment I think I could have received, given that I love Ketterdam and the world of Six of Crows, even though I’d probably be the first person to die in the barrel.) I grinned in reply.

Because I had gone to a Christmas party an hour or so before I came, I was all dressed up in a red polka-dot shirt, a black dress, and black and gold earrings. Leigh told me that I matched Crooked Kingdom‘s color scheme perfectly–which was pretty cool, given that I hadn’t even planned it.

“Which character in Six of Crows is your favorite?” she asked me. And I told her that was a difficult question, but, if I had to pick, I’d have to say Kaz. She cocked an eyebrow, smiled, and said, “I’ll write something Kaz-themed in your book.” (At this point, I was almost screaming with excitement.) I got several pictures with her after this.

There were cards–character cards–spread out face-down on the table. Leigh told me to pick one, and when I did, she asked me which one I had picked.

IMG_5941.JPEGI got Nina. 😀

I also got to pick a pin, but the ones I picked got stuck, so there I was, nervously figeting and trying to get them unstuck, and Leigh sweetly told me to just pick another one. (I was so weird about it, hehehe! What can I say? I was nervous.) So I did, and she thanked me for coming.

And then it was over.

I clutched by books to my chest like doing so was the only way to keep my heart from falling out of my ribcage. My hands were trembling, and my face had frozen in a wide smile. My mind was racing, still trying to process everything.

So, that’s how it happened. Last-minute and quick, but I got to meet one of my favorite authors, and I was over the moon about it. Looks like Christmas came early this year.


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